Here's the Inconvenient Truth About Why You Absolutely Must Tip Hotel Housekeepers

Here's the Inconvenient Truth About Why You Absolutely Must Tip Hotel Housekeepers

Only 30 percent of hotel guests tip. That's not OK.

By Marianne Garvey

Fewer than a third of hotel guests leave a tip for housekeeping. And whether guests do it intentionally or not, it’s really, really bad.

By the time you are done tipping out bellhops and valets, you may feel like you don’t want to go broke tipping the cleaning staff either... but do. Don't leave them empty-handed. Why?

According to The New York Times, many hotel guests say they often forget to leave money for the people who clean their room because they rarely see or interact wth them. (Who do you think makes the bed, a fairy?) People also tend to get cheap when no one is around to pressure them, like when you leave a restaurant tip and your friends are there to police you.

But guests should be aware that housekeeping staff makes so little money at most hotels — for work that often includes picking up after disgusting guests and cleaning all day with chemicals. According to statistics, most housekeepers are minority and immigrant women making barely above minimum wage. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says many bring home just $21,800 a year, so you can imagine how much cash tips are appreciated.

In 2014, Marriott announced a campaign called, "The Envelope Please,” to remind guests to tip housekeeping. The hotel chain recognized — and informed guests — that the nearly invisible workers did backbreaking work over long hours and were rarely rewarded for it. The company placed envelopes in 160,000 hotel rooms with a reminder that it was a human being taking out the trash and getting your toilet so sparkling clean, so hey, why not leave them a little something?

Travel journalist and author of How To Be Married, Jo Piazza, says the tipping rule is the same no matter the hotel.

“The cleaning staff works really hard for little money,” Jo tells Jet Set. “I think you should always leave between $5 and $10 per night no matter the hotel… If you're staying in a higher end place where the maid has a lot more to do or if you make any special requests, definitely leave $10 per night.”

While she says it’s not “obligatory,” it is the kind thing to do.

According to Trip Savvy, there are simple rules to leaving a tip for housekeeping: tip daily, mark the envelope clearly, and leave it either on the television, on top of the pillows of the bed, the bathroom counter, or the desk. And remember, if you're not satisfied with the service, or something is wrong with your room during your stay, you don't have to leave a tip. Or you can leave a small one. But the general rule is to leave some cash for the staff who are underpaid. And now you know.

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